How to Quit Cutting for Good

Talking about self-harm and cutting is an issue that can be difficult to discuss, but it must be brought up. The more we try to hide the issue, the more power it has over our lives and the more difficult it is to break free.

It's important to learn new ways of dealing with your emotional pain. Then you will finally be able to give up this horribly destructive addiction.

Cutting is Not Your Friend

There is a lie about cutting, and just about every addiction. That lie simply says: Cutting is your friend.

Cutting is not your friend. It appears to offer you relief from the pain you're feeling, and no doubt it does temporarily, but in the end, it only leaves you feeling worse, yet craving for more. You're stuck with a body full of scars, and a heart full of secrets. You probably feel like nobody really cares what's going on inside of your head. And even if they did, you wouldn't know the words to use to describe what you're feeling.

Your feelings of pain which led you to cutting in the first place are real. But cutting is never going to give you the true relief you are looking for. It will only make things worse. If you want to quit cutting, you have to realize it's not wrong to be in emotional pain. The problem is you're trying to fix your emotional hurt with something that only causes more hurt. That's why cutting doesn't deliver on its false promise.

Is there a better way to fix the emotional hurt you are feeling? YES!!!!!

Let's look at three healthy ways to deal with your emotions.

Come out of hiding.

This first step may be the hardest, but you need to tell someone about your cutting. Your secrets are only making matters worse. You can't find the light while hiding in the dark. Cutters are hiders. Their closet, so to speak, is their safe haven. It's time to come out. Find someone you can trust. A good place to start may be a doctor, a school counselor, a minister, a relative, or a friend. Jacqueline said this is what has helped her: Even if you are unsure when and how the pain started - TALK!!!!

This person will help you describe your pain, even if you don't know what to say. As you start talking about your feelings in a safe environment you will learn new words you were afraid to use before. Such as: I'm angry, afraid, lonely, ugly, desperate, etc. Over time, you will sort through your intense feelings, heal past hurts, and find new ways to grow stronger and deal with life's problems in healthy ways.

Raven said this worked for her: I quit cutting [a year ago] and found that I didn't need the pain anymore. I've gone to counseling for this past year and after talking out the true reason I was hurting myself, I found that I didn't need to anymore.

Discover and break your pattern of cutting.

What are the places, situations and people that trigger your desire to cut? These desires can seemingly come out of the blue. The fact of the matter is those triggers unleash the craving in your mind to cut. Breaking the pattern of cutting, means learning how to recognize the triggers, and deal with them before you choose to hurt yourself. Your counselor will help you quickly think about how to redirect both your emotions and your cutting when a trigger occurs. In time, you will become an expert to the deep emotions that boil up inside of you, and scream that you medicate them by cutting. The earlier you recognize these emotions and what causes them, the easier it is to deal with them in a healthy way. The problems you are facing may not go away right away, but at least you will see more clearly on how to deal with them.

Ashley said: The sad part is, the things and reasons that were making me do this [cutting] have not stopped. So I wasted all that time hurting myself for no reason. While everyday is a challenge, everyday that I don't harm myself, I'm one day closer to being fully recovered.

Seek God. 

Miracles come from God. There is hope for you even if you think it will be impossible for you to quit your cruel cutting habit. It's going to take a true spiritual transformation. Not only are you going to need to retrain your brain from thinking cutting is helping you, but you're going to need to realize you are powerless, and in need of help. Only a deep, meaningful relationship with God can truly set you free. Instead of working on your addiction to cutting, it's time to begin working on your relationship with God.

God made you and loves you more than you or I will ever know. He wants you to know Him, and He wants to help you overcome your addiction to cutting. God will give you the strength you need to do this. When you trust God to heal your deepest hurts and emotional pain, He will step in and start helping you turn your entire life around.

One person anonymously commented: I still fight the urge to hurt myself when things are hard. I still carry the scars. But I've learned that God heals, and that His love is a much better relief from the hurt. There is hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm, check this out our page with more resources for those struggling, and check out TheHopeLine's free eBook.

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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15 comments on “How to Quit Cutting for Good”

  1. I've been cutting for about two or three years now, and I want to know how to stop, because everyone is worried about me, especially my girlfriend. while I'm glad that they care about me, It's addicting. And I really do want to stop. But I'm only in middle school and I don't want anymore people to worry about me... Is there any way I could talk to someone through email about this?

    1. Ash, Thank you for reaching out. We are here to listen and help. It's good you are reaching out for help. Self-harm is addictive and very hard to overcome without help. We have a partner that will help you with the need to self-harm. You can email them to at (answered in 24/48 hrs) or You can text them at 1-803-570-2061 (Alternative No. 914-393-1904) Texting is available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 EST. Their website is if you want to check that out.

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